When it comes to camp, silly horror comedies of the ’80’s you’d be hard pressed to find many that are as camp and silly as Blood Diner. It might very well be an updated version of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ sleazy Blood Feast (1963), but it’s far more superior in every conceivable way. I have a very dark sense of humour, and I appreciate goofy, tasteless approaches to the macabre; Blood Diner is the epitome of wacky, tastelessness cooked up in a tasty dish. This ticks off all the superlatives one could ask for in a horror comedy: Bonkers? Check. Unhinged? Check. Demented? Check. Smartly stupid? Check. Obscene? Check. I could go on all night forming adjectives to describe the beautiful joy that is Blood Feast, but they wouldn’t do it any justice. So, instead, I’ll just try to explain it as best as I can without falling into a coma of unabashed, unadulterated love.
After an opening monologue which talks about blood cults, we cut to 2 young brothers playing in the safety of their own home, when, all of a sudden, a man bursts through the front door carrying a meat cleaver, with his clothes and skin stained with blood. Not to fret though, it’s only their loving Uncle, and he’s there to give them ancient necklaces before the police gun him down. Years later, the boys dig up their uncle and take his brain so they can set about resurrecting the ancient Egyptian goddess Shitaar. With their dead uncles talking brain as their guide, they set out to collect the body parts required for Shitaar’s body and find a virgin for the ceremony. The body parts are assorted from chopped up whores, with spare limbs and insides used to cook up a special feast, along with serving customers in their popular health food diner. There’s also wrestling Nazi’s, a ventriloquist disgruntled chef with an African American cowboy dummy that likes to sweet talk women and a police detective with a dubbed Eastern European accent. Did I mention that there’s Nazi wrestling? Because there’s Nazi wrestling.
Blood Diner has all the talking brains, Egyptian goddesses, full frontal bush Kung Fu, severed limbs, projectile vomiting and fascist wrestling superstars you could ever hope for. If you had to write down a list of of essential requirements needed to make a perfect movie, those would be on there somewhere. But if that isn’t enough there’s also a punk rock band whose singer wears a Roman helmet, backed up by Hitler’s, performing for zombies and cultists as they wreak havoc during a summoning ceremony for Shitaar. And if that’s not enough, we’re treated to a bouncer’s head being crushed by the wheel of a bouncing lowrider; this in itself feels like a small victory for anyone who’s ever been denied access to a nightclub.
Jackie Kong only went on to make one more feature after Blood Diner, and even though I miss her work dearly, it’s safe to say she went out in style. Every self-respecting director should aspire to make a movie like Blood Diner. Stanley Kubrick wishes he made Blood Diner in 1987 instead of Full Metal Jacket. John Boorman wishes he made Blood Diner too; instead of that sentimental Hope and Glory crap. This is midnight movie madness at its most maniacally magnificent; within 88 minutes it cooks up more treats than an entire season of Ready, Steady, Cook and you’ll find yourself coming back for extra helpings. An absolute masterpiece of low budget trash. 9/10
Rick Burks, Carl Crew, Roger Dauer